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Takeover talks, but no offers yet for Mulberry

MULBERRY, the luxury goods retailer whose shares have been savaged by the strong pound and the Asian crisis, has received informal approaches about a possible takeover, the company said yesterday.

However, Mulberry said the approaches had not led to a formal offer, so shareholders had not been informed of the talks.

Mulberry shares fell a further 7p to a new low of 41.5p yesterday after the company disclosed that it would report full-year losses of pounds 1m on Wednesday after exceptional charges of pounds 600,000. In its profits warning in March the company said its losses would be "not better than pounds 750,000".

But the company denied it was planning to close its UK manufacturing operations and said trading for the current year was "in line with budget".

"The board knows it has disappointed the City and it is going to take some time to put matters straight," a spokesman said. "If someone were to come in [with a takeover approach], I'm sure they would look at it."

At yesterday's closing Mulberry is worth just pounds 8.6m. Its shares were priced at 153p when it floated on AIM in 1996. They rose to 214.5p at the beginning of last year but have since been in free fall.